HOLY COMIC BOOKS! IT'S THE MIS-ADVENTURES OF ADAM WEST

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The Mis-Adventures of Adam West Now if I sung to you 'Na-Nah-Na-Nah-Na-Nah-Na-Nah, BAAAAATTTMAN!!!!!!', what would you think I was referring to? Would it be: (A) A monkey falling out of a tree. (B) A Cat in a tumble dryer. (C) The Sixties Batman television series. Or (D) This interview I did only the other day, with my pal, Leon, about his great Adam West comic book.


The Mis-Adventures of Adam West


1) What are your own origins, Leon?   Very ordinary in fact. Raised on the highly exaggerated and not-so-mean streets of North London and loved reading comic books -- before they became cool and acceptable -- and watching an astronomical, and bordering on unhealthy, amount of television.

2) What path did you take in life to get to where you are today?   Jesus! I took the looooooong way around. I was introduced to comic books at six years old by my uncle, Tony, and started my own little collection a few years later. My mum was a huge fan of 'Thor' and 'Hulk', so she encouraged me reading comics and collecting.

Because comic books are a visually driven medium; obviously, I noticed the art first and decided I wanted to be an artist. I kept reading and put together a sizeable collection of team shots, static drawings, and doodles of the Defenders, Invaders, X-Men and Avengers, and then started messing about with the membership when I was putting together sequential pages. It was fun, but I noticed that I hit a wall with my art and it just wasn't getting any better, plus I had more fun working out the two page plots for myself and writing dialogue.

North London
I then started re-reading comic books and following the stronger writers rather than the artist. Then the whole 90s/Image/art-over-story explosion happened and I thought "That's it; I've got to really focus on writing".

And that’s what I've been doing for the last ten plus years -- writing. I did an online horror comic book that ran for a year but never finished due to... errr... y'know what? I think it was a blessing that it was not finished because I look back at it and I just pick it apart and all I can see is the negative. 

The only positive I can take from it was it was a massive learning experience. I wasn't even working from a concrete plot. I kept adding characters that convoluted the story, everything was a vague idea and there was a ton of immature, pointless swearing, and over the top violence. The idea was sound, but I did not know how to convey it all clearly enough. I think i was just overexcited at actually doing it. Like I said; a blessing it wasn't finished. 

3) How did ‘The Mis-Adventures of Adam West’ come about?   OK. So Ed Gross and I had co-written our first issue of 'Fleischer', and it was on a site and people had seen it and been generous with feedback. So we're sitting there like "Yeah! We're bad!!" We were prepping issue two and Ed spoke to Darren Davis over at Bluewater Production, and Darren asked to see 'Fleischer'. Ed showed him and Darren said he'd like to help get it out there.

Cool. 
 
I wasn't going to say 'no'. Neither was Ed.
 
Boom. It's released. It's out there. There's a comic book on the shelf with my name on it. I'm happy as a pig in shit. Ed calls me and tells me that Burt Ward was circling the notion of having a comic book done just like Adam West had. We were given the nod to put a pitch together for it. So we go to town on this pitch; Burt's a lone warrior in an alien landscape stuck in the future --  Burt is trapped in Hades.
 
We set it up quite simply and then start adding detail into this thing. We send it up the line and some people aren't happy with the tone. Cool. We re-jig some stuff. Still not happy. One more reshuffle. No response. So we go back to Fleischer and assume that the Ward pitch is a bust.

Sixties Cute Batman
The call comes from Darren, who was happy with what we did, but it's a no go with Ward -- BUT -- would we like to do something on Adam West because the previous writer is going. I was like "YES!!!"

I guess the imagination we put into the Ward pitch was enough for Darren to realise that we mean business.

3) In your own words how would you describe this ongoing series?   Exciting. The premise is Adam West receives an amulet and as soon as he holds it he is transported inside a fictional universe and plays a role until he finishes the story. 

Yes. That's correct. Just like the TV show 'Quantum Leap'. At first he's a spy, a tomb raider, a cowboy, and a knave in Alice in Wonderland. 

We come in with a story outline on issue five and I said to Ed "forget all that cute shit!" Issue five? Adam's playing the role of the villain. Not only that but a villain being hunted by a pulp influenced crime fighter called 'The Gentleman'. 
 
The whole thing has potential to go into any direction and the only thing limiting us is our imagination. 

4) If this comic was a song, what song would it be and why?   That’s a great question! Let me have a think about this. Okay. I guess it would be "To Know Someone Deeply" by Terrence Trent D'Arby. The song has a beautiful dream-like and ethereal quality to it and I imagine it as if you are walking through a pleasant memory of a past love. That's what Adam West is doing; walking through fiction and re-living old adventures that he may or may not have had actually taken part in.




Adam West
5) How much input has the real Adam West had on this project?   I know that before Ed and I got onto this project, Adam West was involved. How much? I couldn't tell you. But I know he did a press release about it all and given it his approval. I'd like to think he keeps up with it all since we took over and he thinks to himself...

"GOD DAMN!!! THESE GUYS WRITE ME LIKE A FICTIONAL VOODOO WARRIOR!!"

...or something along those lines.

6) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavour? And were their any unforeseen obstacles you had to contend with along the way?   I've learnt that there is zero shame in being passionate about things. I've wanted to be in the comic industry since I was a chubby teenage boy and I've chased it down like a hound. I took each chance I could to get better at certain things and learnt how to take constructive criticism, as long as it is constructive not just some little troll "shouting" rubbish or being personal behind the safety of the internet.

As far as obstacles? Before, the obstacle was not actually having a project to be working towards. Keeping motivated was hard. That was a beast to climb over, keeping focused.

Now? Writing around my day job is quite hard. I get home and I've had an idea and want to write as soon as I get in -- that must be annoying to my family. Wait! That makes them sound like the obstacle. They're not the obstacle. I'm gonna get battered now. The obstacle is not having enough time.

7) Could you tease us as to what you have in store for the future of this comic?   I know that issue 12 is our final issue, and that ends in a big way. One of the things we were asked to do was have a crossover with a few of the other Bluewater titles / characters. So that idea was taken and I plotted out a massive intertextual time travelling three issue story that links everything Adam has been through and builds upon the threat of an unseen villain that has been around since the moment Adam was given the mystical amulet. It will explain the shift in tone that Ed and I brought with us AND answer the obvious question: Why was Adam's age reversed? 

The Mis-Adventures of Adam West
From that, there is also a spin-off title which is working out miles better than I originally thought it would. It's pure superheroes and heavily influenced by one of the greatest X-men writers -- Chris Claremont. I loved his work on Uncanny X-Men and felt the title went down when he left it. Another influence on it is Peter David who wrote The Incredible Hulk for something like twelve years and did an amazing job.

8) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   Knowing that each day brings me a step -- no matter the size -- closer to my overall goal of becoming a full time comic book writer. Stay focused. Keep my eyes peeled for opportunities and be positive. All these things will help me achieving what I want.

9) If your comic had a motto, what would it be?   "Don't be a bitch". Ha! I'm joking. Fleischer actually has the motto "Embrace your inner moron!" because that title only offers an askew version of being a superhero.

Adam West? I don't know. Wow, you've put me on the spot here. My whole thing about Adam West is he played a version of Batman that some people think was utter rubbish. To me, Adam West was the first physical version of Batman / Bruce Wayne. He played the role in the 60s and he was a product of that era and he played it perfectly. So, again in my head, he is a guy that is quite straightforward. He is the kind of hero that is pure and has no moral dilemma or unresolved demons inside his mind.

"Believe in happy endings!". Yeah. That would be the motto of our run on 'The Misadventures of Adam West'. 

Wow! Thanks for that buddy, Leon. What you had to say I liked a lot, and what I like alot I encourage my readers to click on. So go ahead. Make Adam West's day. Buy-Buy. Read-Read.  Nuff said.